Spearheaded by faculty from the LSU College of Engineering and Science, a group of five Louisiana universities has been awarded a $20 million federal grant to establish a research collaboration called the Consortium for Innovation in Manufacturing and Materials.
The grant comes from the National Science Foundation and is being administered through the Louisiana Board of Regents on behalf of the five universities involved: LSU, Louisiana Tech University, Grambling State University, Southern University in Baton Rouge and the University of New Orleans.
CIMM will conduct research, workforce development, K-12 outreach and education in support of advanced manufacturing technologies, according to press releases from university officials released this morning. The consortium will develop the underlying scientific and engineering knowledge to advance applications in 3D metal printing and multiscale metal forming.
LSU’s College of Engineering will lead CIMM’s research efforts, along with co-principal investigators from the LSU College of Science and Louisiana Tech, through the construction of a 2,000-square-foot Manufacturing Central User Facilities in the newly-remodeled Patrick F. Taylor Hall on the flagship campus here in Baton Rouge. LSU says in a press release that the facility will be a “showpiece of state-of-the-art equipment for consortium members to conduct research and pursue advanced manufacturing educational initiatives.”
The grant funding will be awarded over a five-year period. CIMM researchers will engage with Louisiana students in all grade levels to encourage them to explore disciplines in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Outreach activities will range from hands-on public demonstrations to summer research experiences with university mentors. In particular, CIMM researchers will focus on broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines by directly involving students from community colleges, the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, and the two minority-serving collaborators, Southern and Grambling.